🌳 Dungeon23 - The Elven Enclave
To the West of the infected village of Mistreach lies the Elven Enclave of Caelcalen; this concealed enclave of Elves once traded with the humans of Mistreach many years in the past although of late they have been occupied by their own problems and have only shown concern when word of the village's infection spread to them.
The map below shows a 6-mile hex, subdivided into smaller 1 mile sub-hexes; this map is laid out in the style of a wilderness crawl as the per the excellent Into the Wyrd and Wild roleplaying book by Charles Ferguson Avery.
Each of the numbered diamonds shows a clearing with paths linking them, the paths are described in the respective area write-ups. The entrance to the woodland is marked with an X.
Getting Lost in the Thorn Woods
The Thorn Woods where the hidden enclave is located is a densely packed area of woodlands and treacherous undergrowth, those unfamiliar with it's ways can easily get lost if stepping off the path. Should your PCs choose to do this then use the getting lost rules from your preferred rules system, however it is recommended that when the player characters eventually find their way the GM should roll randomly and have them stumbled into a previously revealed location or one easily accessible.
Spotting Concealed Trails
Some of the trails in the woods are hidden (marked with dotted lines on the map and the nature of the concealment detailed in the area descriptions below), in order for PCs to follow a concealed trail they must first locate it. GMs are free to use the system of their choice to determine the likelihood of spotting a trail, however, I would recommend using the system for foraging/finding food if using an old-school game since the success chance of wilderness affiliated characters hunting/foraging is usually higher and this seems appropriate for trying to discover wilderness trails. Of course appropriate magic can also reveal such paths.
Roll 1D6 every other turn, there is a 1-in-6 chance of an encounter. Encounter distance, etc should be determined as normal using your system of preference.
|1||1d6 Elven Guards : a patrol from CaelCalen.|
|4||1d4 x 10 Brigands : they've heard rumours of a deserted village and are looking for easy prey.|
|5||2d10 Centaurs : long-time allis of the Elves who were a bit more tolerant of humans, however they have shunned contact since the fall of Mistreach.|
|6||1d6 Elven Citizens : hunters and craftsmen gathering materials.|
Elven Soldiers/Guards Level 4 Elf (NPC) AC 4  (chainmail + shield), HP 19, Att 1 × spear (1d6) or 1 × spell, THAC0 17 [+2], MV 60' (20'), SV D10 W11 P11 B13 S12, AL, XP 35
Terribly beautful demihumans wearing armour that glints like sunlight shining through a forest canopy, armoured with magic and incredibly sharp spears that they use in defence of their homes and people.
- Spells: shield, light (darkness), continual light (continual darkness), esp,
Elven Citizens AC 5 , HD 1+1 (5 hp), Att 1 x weapon (1d8), THAC0 18 [+1], MV 120' (40'), SV D12 W13 P13 B15 S15 (Elf 1), ML 8 (10 with leader), AL N, XP 19
Slender, fey demihumans with pointed ears. Live in harmony with nature, in beautiful natural settings.
- Spells: Each individual has one random 1st level arcane spell.
Location 1 - Woodland Clearing
Tall trees (surround this area cutting off much of the sunlight from above). Small clearing (about the size of a large tree stump).
- North: a muddy and boggy trail runs to the north, it takes twice as long to travel along it due to the sucking mud from recent rains, but eventually it leads to location 2.
- HIDDEN TRAIL North-East: a concealed trail that leads to area 5, this trail was originally made by a small party Elves are they believed that they had contained the infection in area 5, they have gone to some lengths to deliberately hide the trail.
- South-East: a clear trail leads out of the woods, sloping down it eventually disappears underground, leading to the [[Underground River]] map.
Location 2 - Hollow Grove
Hollow tree trunk (jagged remnants of a ruined tree). Tiny clearing (about the size of a large puddle).
- HIDDEN TRAIL North-East: a hidden trail leading to area 4.
- South-East: a swampy trail leading to area 1, it is difficult going due to recent rains and takes twice the normal amount of time to travel.
- SPECIAL TRAIL West: this trail is not immediately obvious, in order to enter it and reach location 3 the PCs must climb inside the hollow tree-trunk in this area. Area 3 can only be reached in this way, not by normal exploration.
Hollow Tree Trunk
In the centre of this small clearing is a crumbling, hollow tree-trunk (although it's hollowness may not be obvious at first glance). Anyone examining the roots of the tree trunk will find a small hole just big enough for a person to squeeze inside, after doing so they find themselves emerging through a wooden door onto a starlit path (regardless of the time of day they entered).
Going back through the door results in them emerging from the tree, following the path leads them to area 3.
Location 3 - Enchanted Clearing
Lit by stars (that seem to hang motionless in the sky, the sun never rising). Large clearing (covering about an acre).
This clearing is the home of Ammath an Elven Seer enamoured of the stars who witnessed the star fall through her seeing-lenses and attempted to warn the other Elves but was mocked; seeing the star fall as a sign of ruination she crafted a small realm where she could wait out the disaster she believed would consume the world.
- SPECIAL TRAIL South-East: a magical starlit trail winds off to the South-East, following it the PCs will eventually reach a wooden door, if they open it and go through they find themselves emerging from the hollow tree in location 2.
Ammath's Magical Cottage
A tall buidling that seems to have formed naturally from a cluster of slender trees that have interwined and grown together, the roof is covered with moss and numerous edible fungi dot the area outside (forming the vast majority of Ammath's diet).
Ammath is an elderly woman although she still appears youthful and beautiful as is the way of the Elves, she is initially wary of humans (believing them to be infected) although she is surprised to see anyone (believing the ill-omened starfall must surely have ended the world by now). If the PCs can convince her of their good intentions she can provide a lot of useful information and--if they make a really good impression--she can provide them with a letter of introduction that will stand them in good stead when approaching the Elves of Caelcalen.
Ammath - Elven Seer AC 2  (plate mail + shield), HP 16, Att 1 × sword (1d8) or 1 × spell, THAC0 17 [+2], MV 60' (20'), SV D10 W11 P11 B13 S12, AL Lawful, STR 14 INT 12 WIS 14 DEX 12 CON 10 CHA 9
Spells light (darkness), charm person, detect invisible, mirror image, invisibility 10’ radius, dispel magic.
Items Bag of Holding, Ring of Invisibility, Gurth legin roval ("Death Swift Wing", sword +1, +3 verses Dragons), a map of the Dwarven Fortress of Tholtig (many miles to the North of Mistreach, to be covered in a future entry).
Information that Ammath can share with the Party
About the Falling Star
- Ammath glimpsed the star passing overhead many months prior and recognised it from an ancient Elven prophecy that heralded great ill.
- As the star passed overhead a small piece of it broke off and fell on the Dwarven Fortress of Tholtig (Ammath has not been there but has a map showing the location of the fortress in a great mountain range to the North).
- The Elves largely ignored it, Ammath at first tried persuading them of the prophecy but after a while chose to hide herself in the enchanted glade that she had constructed. She maintains only a single link to the world outside.
- Although Ammath left long before the Elves of Caelcalen became concerned about the rumours they had heard from Mistreach, the ancient prophecy said that humans would be drawn to the falling star and would spread its evil.
- Tholtig a small Dwarven fortress set up in the mountains to the North, they have extensive mines under the mountains.
- Hundreds of years ago the Dwarves, Elves and Humans of the area had cordial--and even trade--relations, but something occurred that soured their relationships and caused the three races to go their own seperate ways (although no-one now remembers the cause of the slight).
- None of the Elves of Caelcalen have had any dealings with the Dwarves of Tholtig for at least a hundred years.
The GM is also free to add in whatever other information they wish that may be suitable for their campaign.
Location 4 - Spider Wood
Webs (covering the trees). Substantial clearing (about an acre in size).
This clearing has become home to three Rhagodessa, large, hairy, noctural spiders with large heads and mandibles.
3 x Rhagodessa
Armour Class 5  Hit Dice 4+2 (20hp) Attacks 1 × sucker (grab), 1 × bite (2d8) THAC0 15 [+4] Movement 150’ (50’) Saving Throws D12 W13 P14 B15 S16 (2) Morale 9 Alignment Neutral XP 125
Suckers: Front legs equipped with suckers for grabbing prey. Grab: When hit with a sucker, the victim is stuck and will be bitten automatically next round. Cling: Can walk on walls.
- HIDDEN TRAIL North-East: this hidden trail leads to area 6.
- HIDDEN TRAIL South-East: leading to area 5.
- HIDDEN TRAIL North-West this concealed trail leads to area 2.
Grisly Treasure of the Webs
Spread throughout the webs are a number of victims of the spiders (a couple of Elves, a few villagers and some unlucky woodsfolk), some of the victims are more recent while others are older and mostly dessicated, having been drained of fluid by the spiders. If the PCs are able to cut them free, amongst the remains they find the following:
- 50 CP
- 75 SP
- Medallion of ESP 30' (this was worn by an Elven apprentice searching for the vanished Seer Ammath, unfortunately the medallion didn't save him from the spiders)
Location 5 - Infected Woodland
Burned vegetation (the Elves have burned a "fire-break" around this clearing to prevent the infections from spreading further). Large clearing (large enough to house a small hamlet). Carpet of grey mould and fungus (covering everyone up to the edge of the clearing, they've not advanced past the fire-break).
The infection was bought here by villagers attempting to flee Mistreach in the early days of the infection, sadly some of their party had already been exposed and they died here, the sickness spreading to this part of the forest before the Elves could contain it.
- HIDDEN TRAIL North-West: leading to area 4.
- HIDDEN TRAIL South-West: eventually emerges in location 1.
Some of the trees surrounding the fire-break have Elven letters carved into the sides of them, the message reads: Ceri- ú- aglon i gwilith na- gurth hi (Do not pass, the air is death here) and is a warning left by the Elves who made the fire-break for any of their kin who should pass this way.
A sample of what the Elven writing might look like is included below:
Please note: The Elven writing above is based on Sindarin, one of the tongues of Elves spoken in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, although obviously the GM is free to substitute their own Elven language as appropriate.
The following translator was used for this text https://funtranslations.com/elvish. The font used for this came from https://www.dafont.com/tengwar-sindarin.font.
Anyone moving within the clearing or interfering with anything therein has a 50% chance of releasing spores: releases a cloud of spores affecting all within a 10’ cube area. Save versus death or die within 6 rounds.
Location 6 - Large Clearing
Medium clearing (large enough to fit a single house).
- HIDDEN TRAIL North-East: leading to location 8.
- HIDDEN TRAIL South-East: this concealed trail leads to area 4.
- HIDDEN TRAIL North-West: a short trail that leads to area 7.
Location 7 - Smaller Clearing
Small clearing (about the size of a large beer barrel).
- HIDDEN TRAIL South-East: leading to area 6.
Location 8 - Caelcalen
Elven homes (about a dozen or so buildings situated up in the trees and linked by rope ladders, they radiate out from a central tree like spokes from the centre point of a wheel). Large clearing (big enough to fit a small hamlet inside).
The Elves buildings are camouflaged amongst the upper reaches of the trees and are difficult to spot (veiled as they are by Elvish magic), most PCs have only a 1-in-6 chance to spot them, thieves and others with high levels of visual acuity have a 2-in-6 chances, whilst Elves or others of Elvish descent have a 3-in-6 chance.
- HIDDEN TRAIL South-West: a short, concealed trail leading to area 6.
Home of Findanor
The central building of the Elves concealed settlement is the home of Findalor, brother to Ammath and current ruler of the Elves of Caelcalen.
Findanor - Elven Leader Level 7 Elf (NPC) AC 2  (chainmail +1 and shield +1), HP 22, Att 1 × sword (1d6) or 1 × spell, THAC0 14 [+5], MV 60' (20'), SV D8 W9 P9 B10 S10, AL N, XP 850
Findanor is a proud Elf who none-the-less now feels greatly sorry for his earlier dismissive attitudes towards Ammath's warnings, having heard about the dire happenings in Mistreach he desperately wants to be re-united with his sister and seek her sage advice as to how best steer his people through current events.
- Spells : ventriloquism, ventriloquism, floating disc, mirror image, web, water breathing, fly, growth of plants,
- Items: Ring of invisibility, Staff of healing